Whether at sporting events, music festivals, or county fairs, concessions stands provide one thing everybody needs—food! When running a concession stand business, all you have to do is follow where hungry mouths wander, and that’s everywhere! It’s especially great for those looking to show off a niche cuisine or family recipe. If you’re unsure where to start, you’ve come to the right place! Let’s look at how to open a concession stand business so you can get your start in the food service industry!
Start Writing Your Business Plan
Think of your business plan as the beating heart of your business. Likely, you’ll need to take out a loan or two to start your business, and drafting a business plan is the best way to get lenders to loan you money. It should outline your concession stand’s concept, target audience, budget, and overall business model. Not only will this give lenders the confidence to invest in you, but this process will help you take the time necessary to determine precisely how you want to run your business. This makes it much easier to make decisions rather than going in with no direction, which also helps you ensure that this is the right financial move for you.
Decide on a Mobile or Stationary Business
Mobile concession stands tend to go where the business goes, following festivals and fairs, while stationary stands have a fixed location. Mobile stands are best suited for those that prepare most of the food elsewhere, while stationary stands are better suited for small menus or premade snacks. Keep in mind that if you want to start a stationary stand, you’ll have limited space. Fortunately, many stationary concession stands are turning to fabric structures, and storage tents are great for limited space. With mobile stands, you can decide how large you want your trailer to be, and since you’re likely to bring the product from another location, you don’t need as much space anyway.
Get the Right Permits
Getting the proper permits is the most essential part of starting a concession stand business. Without them, you’re likely to get shut down fast. Local ordinances vary by area, and your city will likely have different licensing requirements than the next. However, you’ll likely need a food vendor license, a manager certification, a food handling certification, and an employer identification number. Additionally, if you choose to start a mobile stand, your area may require you to get a commercial license.
Customize Your Space and Purchase the Necessary Equipment
Ideally, you’ve already come up with a theme while drafting your business plan, and you have an idea of what aesthetics you’re going for. Whether you have a mobile or stationary stand, now is the time to get decorating! You’ll also need to start installing the necessary equipment like fridges, freezers, sinks, ovens, fryers, and so on. For many people, this is the most labor-intensive and fun part of the process as you see your vision come to life. Once you’re done, all you must do is wait for the business to roll in!